Published: May 18, 2010
Residents ejected from stormy Burnham-On-Sea council meeting

A group of residents was asked to leave a stormy Burnham-On-Sea council meeting on Monday night (May 17th) after they confronted town councillors over controversial proposals to build an extension to the block of flats where they live.

A group of 14 residents of Brue House in Berrow Road arrived en masse at the town council's chambers in Jaycroft Road, where the contentious planning application for four new flats was considered by councillors.

If approved, the residents believe the project would adversely affect their privacy, cause traffic problems, and represent an over-development of the site.

Resident Terry Owen put forward their case at the meeting and the property's owner, Ian Stradling, explained to councillors why he believed the scheme is different from two previous applications and should be approved.

But several other residents in the audience were unhappy that they were unable to speak as well. They also claimed they had not been given enough time to properly look at the revised planning application.

After several loud exchanges between two residents and town councillors, the committee chairman, Cllr Pauline Pollard, asked the public to leave.

Councillors then considered the application behind closed doors and decided the application should be recommended for refusal.

Cllr Peter Burridge-Clayton, who is a member of the planning committee, told "There is very little difference between this planning application and the two previous ones which were rejected."

"It seems to be an over-development of the site and would cause a lack of privacy. There would also be insufficient car parking facilities and we also have concerns about Players Lane, which runs next to the site, being damaged by the additional traffic. The whole application needs to be considered in detail by Sedgemoor."

The property's owner, Mr Stradling, defended his proposals, telling "All I want to do is to replace two unused garage blocks with the new flats. It's a good opportunity to develop a brown field site. Many of the buildings along Berrow Road already have similar extensions, so what I am proposing is no different."

While the residents were pleased that the town council recommended the plans be refused, they were unhappy with how the meeting went. Francis Gates told "It was a complete shambles - we're very unhappy that we were asked to leave."

The Town Council's Deputy Town Clerk, Denise Emery, explained the council's rules on members of the public needing to request prior permission to speak at its meetings.

She added that all the residents would be able to put their views in writing to Sedgemoor District Council and that the plans are on public view for anyone to view them.

A final decision on the proposals will be made by Sedgemoor's development control committee in the coming weeks.


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